Back to School, Back to Cool?: Starting a New School Year Can Bring Excitement and Sometimes Anxiety
As we near the end of summer, and endure the hot temps…I, like many other parents out there brace myself for the back-to-school excitement and chaos, while silently celebrating my kids return to some sort of routine. I eagerly await the return of fall temps and pumpkin spiced treats to begin popping up at every counter. Will these hot days soon blend into the slightly cooler days, I long for? There is just something about fall that is heart-warming, comforting and inviting. Don’t we all long for comforts, whether it’s in the form of a family, friends, food, or nice weather? Some kids even find comfort in returning to school to their friends and the organization of a classroom routine.
Although I enjoyed the days with my kids this summer, running to the pool, taking road trips, and finding materials for countless art projects; I also enjoy watching them enter another school year with excitement and motivation to learn new things and socialize with their friends. It’s comforting knowing that they are well taken care of, welcomed by their friends and can usually keep up with school demands quite easily. I’m comforted by routine, especially one that aids in the well-being of my children, offering a continued increase in their knowledge and maturity.
School should be comforting, fun, exciting and positively challenging, right? A safe place, where our kids can thrive socially and academically?
But what about the families who dread the start of school, as their kids fight anxiety or fears of returning to the place they struggled to make the grade, pass the test, foster the friendships, or keep up with the demands that the last school year offered? Summer may have offered a reprieve, an escape from the constant struggle. But with those free, open ended, warm and active days coming to an end, they must re-focus and gear up once again. Those families might feel pumped for a new year as a restart, or they may feel anxious about the unknown teacher-assignment and expectations a new grade might bring. We want so badly to prepare and motivate our children to rise to the occasion, without getting swept away with the winds of school and after-school activities. Because not all of us have an easy time in school. Not all of us look forward to each new year with joy-filled excitement.
As you look for the comforts to support your children as they start a new school year, remember to you don’t have to do it alone. There are supports within reach for each and every child. An educational therapist might be able to tap into a child’s learning style and give him/her the individual attention needed to get ahead; comprehensive testing may reveal a child’s strengths and weaknesses opening a window into his/her mind like no teacher or school has been able to identify before; a social group may provide a safe place to learn the social skills he/she has been struggling with in friendships at school; a speech-language pathologist may be able fine-tune a child’s speech or fill in the gaps in his/her understanding to help him/her really communicate more clearly. There are people ready and motivated to help provide those comforts you seek for your child. I am hugely comforted by knowing where to seek advice, help, and support for my kids when needed!
So, as the temperatures cool down, and as our children walk onto those school campuses, lets help them feel comforted by knowing that they are not alone this school year!
Center for Learning offers comprehensive testing and services tailored to your child’s individual profile and strengths to support his/her academic, social and emotional well-being.
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-Amanda Harpst, mother of 3 and Speech-Language PathologistLearn More